Category Archives: did it!

Dec. 2013

if November was long and exhausting December was just as crazy.

that tree that we brought home from charlotte got put up (not really in a timely manner but it got put up and decorated (finally).  each year at Christmas we have a real tree.  i grew up in a home with a fake tree (we always traveled at Christmas so it didn’t make sense to have a real one) and andy grew up in a family that had a real tree.  we compromised and now we have a real tree (the compromise is that andy will water the devil out of the tree because i am so scared it will catch on fire – too much rescue 911 as a child).  back to my point…each year when andy brings the real tree in the house Otis gets so excited his entire butt wags.  this year he seemed overly excited so we sat him down and explained that the tree wasn’t his and he wrinkled his forehead and dropped his ears and looked at me like i ruined his life.


dec 5th would have been leslie’s 30 birthday.  i can’t believe it.  i miss her so much.  on top of being a little sad anyways it was a day from hell at work.  there were cancelled clinics, emergency case to go to surgery, bumped surgeries because of the emergencies, rude people and nothing went right.  tension was high among all and at the end of the day we all just looked at each other and shook our heads.  it was a train wreck of the day and i was glad to get home and be off that train for a night.  i will say with as bad of a day as it was my coworkers are rock stars and make even the worst day manageable.

the next day i was freaking out because i couldn’t find my camera cord.  i looked everywhere and called all of the places i had been to make sure it didn’t magically jump out of my camera bag.  this panic went on for a few weeks.  (no worries i found it after a few weeks – in my bag that i never unpacked from thanksgiving – that will teach me to not unpack).

dec 7th dr. scott (nat) took the girls to Asheville for our Christmas gift.  we did some shopping and went to grove park inn for dinner.  it was so much fun to hang out with all of the ladies outside of work.  we shopped until we almost dropped and thankfully we ran out of time because we ran out of room in the van.  on the way home we ran into some thick fog and thought we were going to die…but we didn’t.  we laughed and laughed.  i love these ladies!

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i bought a lawn ornament (ok yes i did but i love it and i have no shame).  it is a tobacco stick with two old records melted and painted to look like a flower.  i will post pictures this spring when andy lets me put it in the yard.  he wasn’t all that excited about it.

we put out Christmas decorations.  each year a little more gets added to our yard and i LOVE it.  this year we added a little snowman and some deer to the doghouse and the word noel.  it looked so great.  the wind was really bad so we had some issues with our big snowman and the deer but it all worked out.  one night when i was doing laundry i heard the wind blowing really hard and looked out the window and saw that a deer fell over and the snowman had his head blown back and arms out so it looked like he was praying for the deer.  it was really funny (or maybe you had to be there).

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i will share other Christmas decoration photos of the inside of the house soon (in another post).

Otis had a seizure on thee 21st.  he seems to be doing ok with it and had no lingering effects.  just slows him down for a little bit.  i had this long to do list and in the middle of being productive he had the seizure.

other big news in dec is that we updated our phones.  we both now have iPhones.  i no longer have a flip phone.  it has been a little weird.  i still don’t really use it other than to call, text, and take some pictures.  i don’t really use the internet or anything that will use up data.  just don’t feel right about that for some reason.

we went to a surprise graduation party for david (nat’s husband).

we had Christmas here.  Otis got boots and hated them.  once we get his nails trimmed we will post a video of him wearing them.  he played with Bryson.  they ran in the house and chased each other.  they howled and screamed together.  it was really funny.  my grandmother got a headlight and it was so funny to watch her and my great-aunt open gifts.  Otis also had a blast playing and wouldn’t share with dad even when he got in the floor to play with him.  we were also very thankful that Andrew got back to the states.  he was deployed overseas and it was great to see him and to know that he is “home.”

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we went to charlotte for Christmas.  we had fun with the family.  andy, erik, and Katie got hornets gear and had fun reminiscing with that!  we got the girls a bug this year (ellen is too young to use it but it should last until she is older so that they will get a lot of years out of it.  cj isn’t so good at driving (at least she wasn’t when she got it) hopefully she will get better before she turns 16!

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andy also decided to do no shave november and i didn’t notice until the middle of dec that he still didn’t shave – so he looked pretty shaggy.

a little cousin was born in december:  logan ross made his appearance and him and his mama are healthy and his daddy is proud.

church was crazy.  we had a ton of events that seemed to be unending.  we had the progressive dinners for the youth as well as a ton of special services.

as much as i enjoyed seeing family and friends this wasn’t the best December.  it just went by too quickly and i felt like i wasn’t able to enjoy it like years past.  we didn’t get any Christmas cards out this year and i hate that.  i felt like we rushed and scrambled to “do” Christmas and all we accomplished was barely surviving it.

to celebrate enduring the end of a crazy year, 2013, we went to the cabin for new years eve to relax.  we did nothing but relax.  we went shopping one day for a little bit but the other time we spent playing a new great game – crack the code on the dvd player.  it was bought at an auction and has a parental lock on the dvd player and we couldn’t watch any of our new movies.  we still have a great time.  Otis woke me up one morning and i got to see the sunrise.

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happy end of 2013 and beginning of 2014

job developments

so when i took the job at the surgeon’s office, i knew it would be a temporary job.  that is how i was interviewed for the job and was told that i would only be needed for 3 months.  my last date to work would be towards the end of may.  (back story: if you don’t know i was filling in for a woman, ls, who was diagnosed with cancer and she had to go to nashville to have a stem cell transplant and would be gone for 100 days).  i was just keeping her seat warm and her work caught up until she was able to come back to work.  part of the excitement of being in her position was that it allowed me to get my foot in the door with the hospital and everyone said they would keep their eyes open for a position that i qualified for if it opened and would keep me in mind for any new job leads.  i was so excited – part of getting a job now a days is having the right connection and having my foot in the door was that connection.

ls had some set backs and so she wasn’t able to come home in may.  so my job stretched out a little longer (which was fine…having an income is nice).  it turned into a few more weeks to we have no idea when she will be back.  i told my boss that i would show up each morning and work every day until she told me to stop.  ls was finally released to come home and my boss called me to her office and told me that they wanted to keep me on until ls was back to work full-time.  (she was only coming back a few days a week until she knew that she would be strong enough to do the job).  i said i would fill in whatever capacity they needed me too.  a few weeks later i was asked if i would stay on full-time and PERMANENTLY!  that is right i have a full-time, long-term job!

i am happy to report that i love my job and the people that i work with.  there are days that are a little boring but being around the people that i am makes it really great.  there are days that are really stressful but being around my coworkers makes it almost fun.  in a few months my job position will change but it will be exciting and i can’t believe how lucky i was getting the lead for the temporary job and that they liked me so much they created new positions so that i could stay with them.

night farming: pancake summaries

thursday night

this past thursday night i went to feed pancake (andy had a meeting) so i went alone.  i went home and decided that since it was going to storm that otis might as well ride with me (because i didn’t want to give him a bath) so we went a little later at night (i waited around to see if andy would get out of his meeting so we could go together (but he didn’t so i went on).  when i got there, gene said he had opened the door to the barn and gated everything so that pancake could get out of the barn and have some green grass but that he wouldn’t come out of the barn.  i drove into the barn lot and parked with the windows down a little so that otis could smell the farm air and see me so if he heard thunder he wouldn’t flip out.  i got my bucket of sweet feed and his little bucket of treats and went to the stall door.  pancake was leaned as far out as he could with all four feet still in the stall.  i stood close enough to get his attention with the treats and sweet feed but he wouldn’t budge.  i finally let him get a taste of it and pulled the bucket away and he stepped up and out of the barn with his front legs.  i will admit that i smiled to myself a little smug smile and thought “this is easy i can get him out of the barn.”  i was wrong.  i called and coaxed and begged him and bribed him with fresh carrots and started to count to him like he was in trouble.  that is when i realized i needed to go home.  it was funny when i started to count his ears perked up and he tilted his head a little like “so what.”  i was about to pack it up when andy called and i told him to come out there if he wanted to.  i watched pancake and realized he wanted out of the barn he just couldn’t get past the water dish so i got in the stall and tried to move it…it was heavy so when andy got there he slid it out-of-the-way.  pancake tried to step up but kept getting his feet tangled up and would chicken out.  i decided that he is really clumsy.  he started getting frustrated and would go in his stall and walk to the end of it and come running back to the open door only to slam on brakes and blow snot at me.  he hasn’t brayed in a while but he flares his nostrils and blows snot when he is frustrated.  i let him smell his halter and was going to try to get it on him to bring him out of the barn and that is when he got really annoyed and started kicking.  he backed up to the wall and kicked.  he went to the other end of the stall and kicked and kicked one more time (i think the last time a bird tried to land on him – i would have kicked too).  andy got there and had similar luck like me.  we petted him and gave him his treats and took some photos of the sky and him and luigi (who is a HUGE mooch).  we left and i was sad because i couldn’t get my ass out of the barn….(sorry i had to).

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friday night (5/24/13)

after graduation we went to the farm to see pancake one more time before we left.  we stopped at the gate and said hey to gene and he told us pancake still wouldn’t come out and we would have to hang some pictures and he would be at home and that he was going to run him out of the stall saturday if he hadn’t come out.  we already saw the moon when we were leaving graduation and it was so pretty so we took the camera to get some pictures with the barn and moon.  i took a few and andy took a few.  i turned towards the barn and lo and behold pancake was out of his stall and standing in the barn’s breeze way.  he was looking at me and was thinking either “look at me” or “you are late where have you been and where is my treat.”  i was so excited that he was out of the barn even though he didn’t go too far from his stall door.  he would turn and run into his stall and come back out and eat more.  he kept tripping over the barn threshold.  clumsy donkey!  since it was so late we loved on him and luigi for a few minutes and took a few photos and went on home.  part of the reason i didn’t get to bed early like i wanted to.

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tuesday night (5/28/13)

we didn’t get by to see pancake monday night because by the time we got settled in it was just too late.  so we went tuesday night (and sad to say we didn’t get any photos).  when we pulled up pancake was in the barn lot munching on some green grass.  he was smelling something and i guess the wind blew it because he jumped straight off the ground and kicked his feet in the air.  he looked at us and walked to the middle of the driveway (that cuts through the lot) to greet us.  he stuck his muzzle out towards us and smelled for treats.  i was able to rub his nose and head a little bit and andy was too before we went to the barn to get his feed and treats.  we passed pancake and he ran up behind us and followed us all the way to the barn.  he kept speeding up and it made me a little nervous that he was behind us and our backs were to him.  we got his feed and treats and he was in heaven.  he let me rub his head and his neck and i was able to rub down to his shoulder.  andy was able to rub his head and his neck a little bit (but pancake has sort of gotten used to me so after andy’s summer trips he will be able to work with him more).  he tripped over a rock, a clump of dirt, his own feet.  he was so excited to get his treats.  when we got done loving on him i poured the rest of the feed into his trough and put his treats up and when we started going back to the car pancake followed us most of the way back (and then i guess he realized he wasn’t getting anything else from us so he went back to his food).  so we went to the farm and my ass followed me everywhere i went!  (sorry couldn’t help that either).  i realized when i got in the car that he doesn’t make me nervous walking behind me because i think he is going to stomp me or anything…but because he is so clumsy and i am scared that he is going to trip and take me out!

wednesday night (5/29/13)

andy had another meeting (starting to see a pattern yet?) so i had to venture and feed pancake alone.  i passed gene on the way to the farm (he was on the tractor) so i knew that he wouldn’t be there when i got there.  i went straight from work so that i didn’t have to get back out and didn’t take a change of clothes so i got out of the car in my dress clothes and a pair of fake crocs i bought on my lunch break.  i went through the gate and towards the barn looking for pancake.  he was no where.  i got all the way to the barn and didn’t see him.  i looked at the gate to the back lot and saw that it was WIDE open!  i got his sweet feed and treats and figured gene locking him in the stall.  i went around the corner to open the stall door and it was wide open too!  my heart sank!  i just knew that gene let him go into the field with the other animals and i would never get to pet him again!  i started for the back fields to try to get him to come to me when i heard a snort behind me.  i turned and looked and standing in the weeds was pancake!  he was in the hay-field on the other side of the fence.  i fed him and loved on him.  i called dad to see if he was ok in the hay-field but he didn’t answer – he looked happy so i left him in there.  i wanted to test my limits with him so i put his treat bucket down and walked a little ways away with his bucket of sweet feed and turned to see if he would come to me.  he looked at the treat bucket and looked at me and took one timid step for me and made a 90 degree turn straight for the treat bucket.  we got there in the same amount of time so no harm done.  i learned from my mistake and picked up both buckets and went back to where i was and he followed me!  it was wonderful.  i am able to pet his head, neck and down his shoulders on both sides and his back (between his shoulder blades).  when i was done i went back to the gate and he came with me.  when he realized i wasn’t going to give him anything else he took off through the field towards the cows and horses and black jack and brayed and brayed.  (in the middle of his full-out run he stopped to eat some grass).  when i go tonight (thursday) i wonder where he will be?!

i feel like progress is being made and i couldn’t be happier.  it has been an experience and i know that there is more to come!  i think that giving him space and letting him get comfortable and making the first move is the way to go (at least in this situation).  i can tell he has gotten more comfortable with me being around and isn’t as jumpy and that lets me know that our approach of being patient and not rushing him is working wonders.

wellingtons and rock stars…

i don’t know if i posted anything about the video contest at church so to catch you up if i didn’t…there was a video contest at the church.  (the groups had to create a video based on their interpretation of a scripture).  the grand prize was star treatment for the night.  the group that won had 5 people in it so the night went something like this.

we met at the church and took the church bus to johnson city.  (we looked into a limo and that was WAY too expensive so church bus it was – and they always beg to go in the bus).  we got on the bus and told them their two choices for dinner and the chose wellingtons.  as we started our trip to jc i gave them all a beverage (like on a plane but without the rolly cart and the peanuts/pretzels and the pink cocktail napkins smelled like old people).  we had left over drinks from another event so they had limited options and small cups – so just like a plane.  instead of a salty snack all we had to offer them were skittles.  holden made our reservation while we were driving down the road – did you know they had an ap for that?  we got to the restaurant and parked down the street because the bus was too big (and like stars that have to walk everywhere – or something).  they weren’t ready for us so we sat in the lounge area and had some waters and sodas.  we got seated at the table and ordered.  i had the filet and it was wonderful.  seriously the best steak i have had since we have moved.  i think it compares to the ones at firebirds.  (side note: we had firebirds when we were in charlotte last weekend and i almost cried because it was so good and i missed it).  when the check was paid we looked out (because the lights flashed and realized that it was storming like crazy).  andy ran to get the bus.  we treated the kids to starbucks and then headed home.  (we were nervous that the dog was going to need a bath since it was raining and storming…but he was good – and the power even flashed).

it was a wonderful night celebrating their victory and finding a great fancy place to go eat and celebrate birthdays.

recap of the past weekend…

we had an over all good visit to charlotte this past weekend.  we were able to spend time with andy’s family friday night for dinner and just hanging out.  it was great to be able to visit and hang out with them.  it was good to see katie graduate and share in that day with her.  it was wonderful to spend time with my family and friends at the race track.  it was fun to continue the tradition of going to the race….it was one of those weekends where i wish we would have had more time to see more people…but i feel like those weekends are more often than not.

after the all-star race we had to race home (haha see what i did there?)!  andy had to be at church sunday morning.  so before the race i took a nap and after the race we waited around a little for traffic to calm down and started our trip home.  andy and otis slept and i was left with my own thoughts and the sounds of early morning radio.  my drive home was ok.  it rained most of the way and was foggy for the majority of it.  (there were only a few times that i couldn’t really see because of pouring rain and fog so that was nice).  we stopped once so i could get out and otis and andy got out and walked around too since stopping the car woke them both up.  on this drive i think i saw more deer then i have seen in several years.  i saw several packs (is a group of deer called a pack?) and they all made me very nervous.  i could tell that one group just crossed the road and was ok but two different times they were running parallel to the road and i just knew they would run out in front of me – but thankfully they didn’t.  i saw several fresh dead deer in the road.  apparently it wasn’t a good night for wildlife.

as i turned out the road we live on i the sun was coming up.  it was beautiful despite the rain and the clouds.  the sky just glowed.  it is moments like that, when i witness that beauty, that makes the journey worth while.

*this is the part where i admit that i went inside jumped in bed and didn’t give it a second thought that i was going to finally get some sleep and andy had to go to church.  this is also when i could confess that i might or might not have slept until 1.

graduation: 5/16/13

we were very excited about this past weekend.  we were glad to be able to come home to charlotte for the race but also because we got to go to katie’s graduation.  we got to see her walk across the stage (the pictures didn’t turn out) and we got to see an old friend, ron graduate.  we sat behind the grads so most of the pictures i have are of the back of her head (and her messing with her hair and cap) but i was able to get some of her face when she was looking for us and after graduation when she was waiting to walk out. 

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